SpokenWord back at the Chat Noir (September 2021).

SpokenWord now running again every Monday at the Chat Noir, starting Monday 6th September 2021.

AWOL writers’ is back at the Chat Noir every Sunday, 5pm-7pm. See below.

Spoken World Online continues. See below.

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday at the Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop every Sunday. We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list – if it doesn’t work send an email asking to be put on the mailing list to db1066 @ gmail.com. Our Facebook page.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive. Acoustic songs also welcome.

Poetry video clips on our instagram at spokenword_paris

SpokenWord Sounds
A taste of Monday nights at the Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Every Monday except August. Come to the Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up at 8pm in the bar. Poetics start 8.45pm underground. More info here. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All languages welcome. 

Check next week’s theme here. Themes are a suggestion to inspire you but you don’t have to follow them. Indeed, many people don’t.

AWOL writers’ workshop

AWOL normally takes place every Sunday evening, 5pm – 7pm at the Chat Noir (76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011). AWOL’s facebook page. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen and join in the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield, Simon Millward, Thibaut Narme and Camille Adnot. Friendly and insightful and afterwards you’re welcome to come for a drink. In a previous incarnation this ran for 10 years as The Other Writers Group and AWOL continues that group’s ethos of giving invaluable insightful feedback and providing a supportive space to hone your writing craft. Plus community among writers. Click here for a more detailed description.

Spoken World Online

This open mic is weekly on Tuesdays, an online version of what we do in the Chat Noir, and is hosted by David Leo Sirois. It’s on Zoom. More info at the Spoken World Online Facebook group.

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Indran Amirthanayagam, Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, Monday October 25th. Theme: Maps

Indran Amirthanayagam produced a “world’ record in 2020 by publishing three new poetry books written in three languages: The Migrant States (Hanging Loose,Press, New York) Sur l’île nostalgique (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Lírica a tiempo(Mesa Redonda, Lima). He has just published Blue Window (Ventana Azul), translated by Jennifer Rathbun.(Dialogos Books). He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese,Haitian Creole, and has twenty poetry books; a music album Rankont Dout. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly (www.beltwaypoetry.com) and helps curate http://www.ablucionistas.com. He won the Paterson Prize; received fellowships from The Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and US/Mexico Fund For Culture and the MacDowell Colony. Hosts the Poetry Channel on Youtube (https://youtubm/user/indranam). e.co

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Jennifer Blowdryer, Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, Monday, October 4th. Theme: “Thieves”

JENNIFER BLOWDRYER got her dumb name from her SF punk band, the Blowdryers, in 1977. She’s written columns for Maximum rock’n’roll, New York press, and downtown, and her books include: white trash debutante, modern English : a slang dictionary, and Good Advice for young trendy people of all ages. She remains a band singer/writer, recent releases include Blowdryer Punk Soul: Pinot Grigio and 4 Essays – the most harmless person you are ever going to meet in your life, Bent Boy Press, SF, 2018. She lives in NYCs East Village.

SpokenWord theme (should you want to follow it): Thieves

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Mailing list signup problems

If you’re having trouble signing up for the mailing list, text me your email and I’ll add you.

+33 626 90 13 26


David (Organiser)

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SpokenWord 20th September 2021

Theme: Trouble

Sign up from 8pm

SpokenWord begins 8.45pm

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SpokenWord at the Chat Noir, Monday 13th September

Theme – Ghosts / les phantoms

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SpokenWord at the Chat Noir 6th September

Theme – MASKS

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SpokenWord Paris returns to the Chat Noir Monday 19th July

We’re back.

For the first time in 16 months, back at the Chat Noir.

Coming home.

For the last 2 Mondays in July.


Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive. All languages welcome. Acoustic songs also welcome.

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Chat Noir closed.

Closure is temporary – all bars are closed as an anti-Covid measure.

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David Barnes’ poetry class

WICE have asked me to run my successful poetry class again,

Writing Poetry – Craft and Inspiration

starting 30th September.

This will be a hybrid class – you can attend either in person or online. That way we can run it successfully despite Covid, strikes or bad weather. You can attend any or all of the classes online, whether it’s just that you’re outside Paris or it’s because you need to self-isolate.

Course description:

A poet needs both something to write about and skill in writing. We will focus on these two themes so important in strong poetry – finding inspiration and mastering elements of craft. Each week we will do some writing in class and a homework task will be set so that we can share what we’ve written the following week. Teaching will cover how to write stronger poetry and where to find sources of inspiration. All levels of experience welcome.

I’m confident the class will thrive as it has in previous years – developing a strong sense of mutual support and community around the writing and sharing of poetry.

Maximum of 7 participants.

Dates and times:

It will be 3.30pm – 5.30pm every Wednesday for 6 weeks.

  • Sept 30th
  • Oct 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
  • Nov 4th

Fees: €195 euros + WICE membership fee of €25/30/50

Staying safe:

In the classroom we’ll wear masks and be 1m apart. Everyone will have their own desk and chair and surfaces will be wiped down. If anyone develops symptoms that could be Covid then they can still attend online. Similarly if they have been in close contact with someone contagious.

About the teacher:

David Barnes is a British poet who ran a weekly writers’ workshop at Shakespeare & Company for a decade and organises and runs the open mike poetry night SpokenWord Paris, now in its 15th year. He is the Editor in Chief of The Bastille literary magazine and was co-editor of Strangers in Paris – New Writing Inspired by the City of Light (2011, Tightrope Books) which included work by such writers as Alice Notley, Jorie Graham and John Berger. His poetry has been published in various magazines. He is a teacher and psychotherapist.

In August he was the featured poet at Literary Lavatory, Obejvak, Prague.


Signing up for the course:

Register online here
or contact WICE and give the course code or name:

WS301 Writing Poetry – Craft and Inspiration

WICE: Where Internationals Connect in English
Tel 01 45 66 75 50
10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris

Cheers all,
David Barnes

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SpokenWord in Paris Monday 21st September at the Place Louis Aragon

This week hosted by Sophia Lucia!

Meet at the Place Louis Aragon from 8pm.
It’s the western end of the Île Saint-Louis.
Open air poetry starts at 9pm.
Theme – Boredom
We may move to other locations nearby. So if you arrive and we’re not there, text +33 626901326
Bring your own drink.
Wear a mask and respect social distancing – otherwise the police may fine you 135 euros and close down the event.
We’ll probably wind up in a bar after the words have been said, the songs sung.
Cheers all,
David Barnes

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